Robe LEDWashes for Placebo tour

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Acclaimed UK band Placebo are using 90 x Robe ROBIN 300 LEDWash fixtures in custom touring frames for their current European festival tour, specified by lighting designer Jvan Morandi.

Morandi is well known for his fresh and innovative visual concepts and has worked for Placebo since their ‘'MEDS” album in 2006. Each time they go on the road he brings something new and interesting to the visual equation.

This is the first time that he has specified Robe moving lights for one of his touring rigs, which are being supplied by PRG EML Productions.

The main idea behind Placebo's touring ‘specials package' is that it is exceptionally quick and easy to install in festival situations ‘underneath' the house rig at each event.

The LEDWash 300s are fitted into five rolling touring-frames specially fabricated by PRG EML Productions. Inside each frame they are rigged in a 6 x 3 format, with 18 luminaires per frame.

As well as the LEDWash 300s, the touring specials include some other moving lights and five GLEC screens. This is designed to ensure they are very self-contained with all the lighting and visuals to produce a unique looking show, needing only front key lights from the house rig.

The entire specials rig can be wheeled onstage, installed, set up, fired up and working in around 45 minutes. The time from the set finishing to the truck doors closing with all Placebo's equipment is around 60 minutes – a serious achievement in terms of speed and efficiency.

The LEDWash 300 frames are all positioned upstage of the band and used for a wide variety of effects blasting through from behind.

Morandi creates a massive range of looks with them, from mega bright full colour blocks of light to mesmeric chases, complex and subtle patterns, plus lots of moody silhouettes which suit the raw, uncompromised lyrics and delivery of Placebo's set.

They are featuring several new numbers from the upcoming album, due for release in early 2013.

His overall filmic style, look and feel for the show was inspired by the works of artist James Turrell, well known for his concern with lighting and spaces and specifically for his Roden Crater work-in-progress in Arizona.

Morandi looked at the LEDWash 300 when he sought a compact and lightweight moving light solution that would fit into the frames.

The main criteria was that it was a small unit, as the frames could not be more than 2.4 metres wide (for fitting onto stage with the backline and for an expedient truck pack) and had to contain the 6 x 3 matrix of fixtures.

It came down to a choice between two fixtures – and Robe was selected!

“They are small, light and very fast – exactly what I need,” he says.

Morandi also really likes the individual LED ring control – this was one of the deciding factors for picking Robe - and he uses the effect strategically in the show.

He is controlling the lighting via a Chamsys MagicQ 200 console and the video via a Catalyst media server, both supplied by Out of Kontrol.

Placebo are one of the most universally popular live bands worldwide, and the current tour with this rig is scheduled to continue into October.

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